Taking full advantage of the tools offered by Google is essential for a strong and successful marketing plan. At Ocreative, we consistently monitor for new features and explore how we can integrate them into our processes to better serve our clients. Google’s Search Console has evolved over the past year as part of Google’s aim to make their tools more user-friendly and accessible to all website owners while highlighting important features. Google plans on rolling out their new Search Console in spring of 2019.

These Search Console changes will help site owners or managers to more easily enhance their search engine optimization (SEO) practices while also allowing more experienced site managers to implement advanced strategies. SEO is all about improving website rankings, driving quality traffic, and increasing visibility of your website on search engines. For more information on SEO best practices, read our earlier article: SEO vs PPC – Which is Better for Your Business.

Crawl Error Updates:

An important aspect of SEO is monitoring for links that exist on the internet that drive to specific pages on your site that have since been changed or deleted. It is common that businesses forget to update links across business listings, PPC campaigns, or even when they launch an updated website. When Google crawls your site, it will find these incorrect connections and create 404 errors which lowers the usability and relevancy score of your site. When a search engine attempts to reach a page on your website but is unable to do so, it generates a crawl error which can hurt your overall search ranking.

While the existing iteration of Google’s Search Console lacks a robust functionality to handle 404 error reporting, they will be rolling out a new version in spring of 2019 that has optimized mapping tools to help site owners/managers find and correct errors affecting end users.

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With the current iteration of Search Console, Google is unable to provide a detailed and prioritized list of crawl errors. As of now, the reports generate a long list of errors that does not identify key patterns in end-user behavior to determine which errors require immediate attention or any attention at all. The new Search Console, however, will focus more on finding and highlighting end-user patterns to help site owners find and update broken links easily and efficiently. The new Search Console will also feature an easier process for reporting solutions and requesting a re-crawl of your site. Ocreative is looking forward to leveraging this new feature to stay on top of redirect strategies for all clients who continually update their sites.

Updated Sitemaps Report:

Another feature getting an update in 2019 is Search Console’s Sitemaps report. Currently, site owners/managers submit their sitemap to Google prior to site launch to help Google index the pages of their site as they are relevant to search terms and phrases. Sitemaps change over time as content is updated, added, or removed from a site. Because Google has a cached “memory” of your site it may not use the most up-to-date variation of pages and may be ineffectively indexing your site based on old information. The new Sitemaps report will keep its existing features but is growing to include useful tools that allow you to better understand what information Google has gathered on your site and what needs to be updated.

Starting this spring, site owners will be able to select and filter sitemap files to evaluate the health of specific pages rather than the site as a whole. These changes will take the form of the new URL Inspection Tool. This tool allows site owners to test a variety of different aspects of their website to understand what is being presented on search engines. Enhanced features to this tool will allow site owners to:

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Inspect a URL that has already been indexed

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Identify whether private pages have been unintentionally indexed

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Identify whether public-facing pages have been marked as no index

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Request a URL to be indexed upon page completion

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View a screenshot of the most recent cached images of site pages

Better Data:

Google’s new Search Console will also include a series of overall updates to help site owners/managers view and analyze their data. The new Search Console will have 16 months of search traffic data in comparison to the three months available in the current version. A three-month timeframe provides a very isolated snapshot of site traffic and makes it difficult to understand seasonal patterns and trends. The ability to analyze five times the amount of end-user data will allow site owners/managers to compare data year over year and see larger patterns in traffic and use of their site. For more information on understanding your Google analytics, check out our article: Interpreting Google Analytics.

Just like we must do with our own sites, Google continually analyzes the usability and performance of their tools to provide the best services available. We understand that it can be difficult to keep up with these changes and transition to new platforms while maintaining your other job duties. Take the guesswork out of Google Search Console and work with Ocreative to optimize your site and web presence. If you would like more information, please contact us.

About Us:

Ocreative is a Milwaukee marketing agency, with expertise and broad experience in developing digital marketing strategies, and growing their online presence, for their clients. The company’s core values include offering the highest level of customer service, award-worthy quality, and performance that surpasses client expectations. Ocreative is located just outside Milwaukee, and works with clients locally, nationally, and globally. Their clients have access to some of the most fun and knowledgeable professionals around – ones who inspire, educate, and problem solve. The agency provides marketing and brand strategyadvertising and designwebsite design and social media, and video expertise to their clients, fulfilling their desire for business growth, and their aspiration to make a mark on their industry.